Facts and Events
Marozia, born Maria and also known as Mariuccia or Mariozza ( 890 – 982), was a Roman noblewoman who was the alleged mistress of Pope Sergius III and was given the unprecedented titles senatrix ("senatoress") and patricia of Rome by Pope John X.
Edward Gibbon wrote of her that the "influence of two sister prostitutes, Marozia and Theodora was founded on their wealth and beauty, their political and amorous intrigues: the most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman tiara, and their reign may have suggested to darker ages the fable of a female pope. The bastard son, the grandson, the great grandson, and two great great grandsons of Marozia — a rare genealogy — were seated in the Chair of St. Peter." Pope John XIII was her nephew, the offspring of her younger sister Theodora. From this description, the term "pornocracy" has become associated with the effective rule in Rome of Theodora and her daughter Marozia through male surrogates.